We are busy preparing for our major event of the year, Madison Bike Week! With only two weeks away there is still time for local businesses or non-profits to sign up and host a Bike Week event or discount. You can follow this link to register you event…
Bike Week Calendar
Once again, this year you can use Sched to keep track of your calendar of bike week events and discounts. This tools includes many useful features including personalized event calendars and a map view. The Sched bike week calendar and map can be found on our Bike Week 2022 page.
Plus, you can register for a free account to create a personalized bike week calendar and receive notifications for specific events you plan to attend.
We have 25 events registered for Madison Bike Week, including 12 food and 11 ride events! The map view, shown below, is a great way to find events in your area. It’s not too early to start planning your stops and coordinate with your riding buddies.
Madison Bike Week is coming – you can still register your event
Madison Bike Week will start in less than three weeks! We plan to have our event calendar up later this week — and it’s not too late to add your event to the calendar. Putting up a Madison Bike Week event or discount, as always, is free. And we again have a mini-grant program to promote a more diverse and inclusive Madison Bike Week. Find more information about the registration and the mini grants here. Madison Bike Week is all about bringing together the community, and we can’t do it without you
This is also a great opportunity to thank this year’s Madison Bike Week sponsors. Thanks so much for the support!
Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) projects at TPPB
Monday’s agenda for the Transportation Policy and Planning Board has one bike-related item: Madison’s application for federal funds through the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP). TAP funds are one of the main ways for cities to access federal funding for bike and walk projects. Cities submit a list of priority projects to the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, and with some luck, one or more of them will be funded. Madison’s list for the current cycle was submitted in January, but now there are changes to two of the projects. This is the complete list, with the changed projects highlighted:
Expand the School Rd project to be the Northside SRTS Improvements at Mendota Elementary School and Lindbergh Elementary Schools including improvements along School Rd, Toban Dr, Blaine Dr and Kennedy Rd.
E. Washington Ave. bicycle route alternative (Reindahl Park to East Springs Dr.) – includes potential bike boulevard on Dwight, bike lane markings on the frontage road and on Independence Ln., additional traffic calming and improved crossings where necessary.
Expand the Badger Rd shared use path Phase 1 to include shared-use path along N Rusk Ave to Nygard St – shared use path along W. Badger Rd. to connect N. Rusk Ave. to the existing pedestrian/bicycle overpass of the Beltline.
West Towne Path – two possible segments, including the segment from Gammon Rd. to Zor Shrine and the segment from Zor Shrine to High Point Rd. These may be combined into a single project on the application, depending on the cost estimates and potential funds available in the program.
Cross Isthmus Improvements – includes improved bicycle connections across the isthmus, primarily along Franklin St., Hancock St. and Blount St., and would also include installation of bike lanes along E. Washington Ave. from Blair St. to the Capitol Square.
Tancho Dr. Path – shared use path between Tancho Dr. and STH 151, where there is an existing path and underpass of the highway.
BCycle Bike Share Expansion – Focus on building a more equitable program by connecting additional areas of the city that are currently not served or are underserved by this mobility option.
[T]he Ride of Silence can be found in 450+ cities across the world to honor those who have been injured or killed, to raise awareness that we are here and to ask that we all share the road.Please sign up to attend at the official Eventbrite page : https://bit.ly/3OzrOZC. We will be using that to determine a final ride headcount.The official ride route can be found at this link, and the Ridespot app can be downloaded for free to track the route: https://www.ridespot.org/rides/569471This is the official event for the Madison, WI event. we will be riding a 13 mile route around Lake Monona in a silent 10 mph procession in memoriam of those cyclists killed and injured around the world and in our own community. we will be stopping for a few minutes of silence at the Ghost bike at the intersection of Baldwin and East Wilson St, then continuing around the lake.
Bike and Walk To School Week: The Lapham Elementary PTG organized a social at the school to celebrate bike and walk to school week, and had a great turnout! Thanks to Kyle Hanson for helping organize the event, and showing that in a well-designed city, walking and biking to school can be safe for all ages and abilities.
Madison Bicycle Center Membership: Madison Bicycle Center has opened its long-anticipated membership program, which offers downtown bicyclists secure indoor bike parking, bike and human showers, two tune-ups per year, and other services. See details here.
Monday: Madison’s casual, fun, and inclusive Monday 40 group rides are up and running again, leaving from Orton Park at 6:00pm. See details here.
Tuesday: Slow Roll Cycles will host their weekly group ride, leaving from their shop on the Eastside at 6:20pm, details here.
Wednesday: Transporation Commission is meeting at 5pm, see here for agenda and participation details. Then, at 6:30pm Greater Madison Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is meeting to discuss and take action on their Regional Transportation Plan 2050. Link to agenda and participation details here.
Saturday: The famous Elroy-Sparta rail-trail is finally reopening after four years of repairs, following extensive flood damage in 2018. With the Stewart Tunnel closed to bikes, you can get your tunnel biking fix on this trail, which features three bikable rail tunnels, along with interesting scenery and camping accommodations. For adventurous riders interested in a tour from Madison to LaCrosse as the weather warms, the Elroy-Sparta is a must.
May is National Bike Month! National Bike Month was started in 1956 to promote the benefits of bicycling, and to encourage more people to try it, according to the League of Amerian Bicyclists.
This June 5 through June 11, Madison Bikes is promoting Madison Bike Week! Feel free to register your event here if you want to host an event! The deadline to register your event is May 27. Check out the FAQ if you have any questions about hosting an event.
First, the St. Paul Avenue, Ohio Avenue, Talmadge Street, Jackson Street, Lafollette Avenue Reconstruction Project started last Monday. East side riders may have noticed the Capital City Trail closure by Atwood, and this project is why. There is a signed detour using Waubesa Street, LaFollette Avenue, and Dunning Street. Also, the project’s website has a map of the detour. Once completed, there will be substantial improvements to the path intersections with Ohio Avenue and Jackson Street. This portion of the project is expected to last until mid-summer.
Next, the Wisconsin DNR posted a survey and a draft analysis about the future of the Badger State Trail’s Stewart Tunnel. The Wisconsin DNR closed the Stewart Tunnel in 2019 for structural reasons. The survey closes on June 1.
Lastly, a new bike shop opened up on Monroe Street! Destination Bicycle is Madison’s newest bike shop, and is mechanic owned and operated. Their website has information on services and pricing.
This Saturday, May 7, from 9:00AM to 11:00AM, there is a Cycling Without Age Celebration. The Village of Cross Plains now has a Cycling Without Age program. A celebration will take place at the Vessel Cafe, 1820 Main St, in Cross Plains, WI. The founder of Cycling Without Age, Ole Kassow, and Paulette Glunn, the Executive Director of Northwest Dane Senior Services, will speak at the event. There will also be a silent auction.
On Monday, the paid membership portion of the downtown Madison Bicycle Center, managed by Freewheel, will be opening for the first time. Members can access bike storage, showers, lockers, changing rooms, and other core MBC amenities 24/7/365. If you work downtown, you should definitely give it a look-see. The facility and services are still available M-F from 9am-6pm for everyone and the semi-enclosed/well-lit bike parking is available 24/7 for everyone too!
Have you been riding all winter and still have a thick salt crust on your bike? Did you just get back on the bike for the season and your ride sounds a little creaky? Bought a used bike and want to make sure it’s safe? Either way, join us for our Bike Wash on April 30. We’ll have cleaning supplies, tools, lube, and volunteers from Madison Bikes, Dream Bikes, and Wheels for Winners on site who can check your bike for basic safety.
Even if your bike’s already sparklingly clean, stop on by to socialize and chat about bikes and bike advocacy. After the event, the party will continue as an informal community meeting where we’ll discuss all things Madison Bikes including Bike Week 2022!
Finally, a Madison icon is retiring (maybe paywalled, sorry about that). Crazy “TV” Lenny, or now Crazy “Bike” Lenny is wrapping up his career (at least until whatever he does next). You may also remember the “Firenze” 10-speed road bikes from the 80’s that often came free with any sizeable purchase of furniture or electronics. His most recent venture, the bike shop that specializes in E-Bikes on Odana Road, will remain open under new local ownership.
Construction and Closures
Starting Monday, Old Middleton Road will be largely closed from it’s eastern terminus at Eau Claire Ave to Old Sauk Rd for the entire season. Once school is out for the year, it will close even further west from Old Sauk Rd to Capital Ave. Technically, one travel lane westbound only will remain open throughout, but that will probably not be a great biking option so best get used to your alternatives such as the University Ave path and/or winding through the hills south and west of Owen Park (h/t Harald).
The brand-new pump track at Aldo Leopold Park will be closed until July (again with the paywall) to install a new skills track around the pump track and to allow the grass to grow in. It will surely be worth the wait!
Tickets are available for $50 in advance and $60 at the door.
Atwood Avenue Reconstruction Project
After much deliberation and community input, the Parks Commission decided to implement Option 3a multi-use path through Olbrich Park. This option was considered a compromise which most people could live with, maintaining bike access through the park and leaving most of the lake shore path as-is. Another benefit is that option 3a doesn’t interfere with the sledding hill and can be plowed in the winter. Thank you to everyone who gave feedback as part of the Atwood Ave reconstruction project.
Capitol Off-Road Pathfinders (CORP) Spring Fundraiser
CORP Annual Fundraiser returns to its rightful place at Machinery Row Bicycles on April 23! All the highlights you remember: beer, food, and the famous bottomless raffle! $20 at the door (kids free!).
1000 Friends of Wisconsin Webinar Series
If you are unacquainted, 1k friends of WI is a local group that promotes land use policies and activities that advance healthy communities, positive economic outcomes and environmental benefits in Wisconsin. They are hosting a four part webinar about street design and what we can do to reclaim public space. Registration is free!
Updates to the City of Madison Comprehensive Plan is a 28 page document that will be presented at the Transportation Policy and Planning Board on Monday April 18th at 5pm. The plan provides an overview and current status of city wide initiatives in the following six key areas. It’s worth a quick readthrough to understand the long term vision of the Mayor and city staff have laid out for our city.
In case you missed it, there was a great article in the Isthmus about Dane County’s plan for paths to connect existing paths and some important destinations. It will be great to fill some of those gaps and have a real network all the way across the county – which actually would mean connections across the state. But although it’s great to see the map of planned connections, the article makes clear that some of these paths are years away, maybe even a decade.
The Board of Park Commissioners will be considering the path through Olbrich Park/along Atwood. Since this path is going through the park, this meeting is really critical if we want the best option to serve all ages and abilities. Comments at past committees and/or participating in the survey that went out were great, but we need one last push at this meeting.
There is a well-organized neighborhood group that is pushing for keeping the bike route next to Atwood — essentially a wide sidewalk — and then using Oakridge and Welch to connect to the Lakeland. It will be very important for those who want a more-direct and less-steep option to contact the Board, or even better, to show up to testify.
Although the Transportation Commission voted to recommend option #1 as the best for transportation – with option #3 as the second alternative – the Parks Board will be considering a different set of criteria, and they have the final say as to what to recommend to the City Council. The Board of Park Commissioners will be more likely to look at the best option for park users over the best option for those moving through or next to the park.
All the documents related to this matter as well as the comments that have already been submitted are at the link above. Here is the link to participate in the virtual meeting, watch the board meeting online, or send comments.
Also on Wednesday, the TC will be considering the reconstruction of the western portion of Lake Mendota Dr – from Baker Ave to the Madison city limits. This has been controversial in the immediate neighborhood because the city plan recommends adding sidewalks to one side of the street to improve safety and comfort for pedestrians. The street is already a low-stress biking street, but pedestrians need to walk in the road, including in winter. This includes kids walking to Spring Harbor Middle School.
Save the dates for Bike Week June 5-11
And a reminder to save the date. Madison Bike Week will be June 5-11 this year. We are currently soliciting financial sponsorships, but we will soon be reaching out to groups, businesses, and individuals that want to plan events (commuter stations, discounts, classes, gatherings, rides, or other activities.) So mark it on your calendar and start to think what you or your group/business would like to do to celebrate.
Freewheel is hiring!
From our friends at Freewheel, we received this announcement. If you are looking for a job, read on.
Freewheel seeks an eBay Sales Associate. We receive a lot of donations of high-end parts that do not sell quickly at the Madison Bicycle Center, but people online are interested in them – and the money we get from sales keeps our classes free for everyone. Our current staff doesn’t have the time in their workday to manage and develop our tiny little eBay store – but maybe you do? We’ve received a generous donation that’s earmarked for a limited-term, part-time position that would identify, photograph, list, pack, and ship the high-end, small donated parts we receive at our facility. Although this is a limited-term position, we hope it will pay for itself – in which case, this position will last much longer than the one month we currently estimate. You can read the full job posting here: https://www.facebook.com/jobs/job-opening/3039568626306232/ Or, if Facebook isn’t your thing, you can send your resume and cover letter by email to email@example.com.
It’s that time of the year: Madison Magazine are running their Best of Madison 2022 competition. In the category of bike shops you can vote for:
Atkins Verona Bicycle Shoppe
Black Saddle Bikes
Budget Bicycle Center
Machinery Row Bicycles
Neff Cycle Service
New bike delivery and repair co-op
Speaking of bike shops: Madison has a new bicycle-focused business: Madison CycleWorks. Key facts about CycleWorks: They are organized as a worker-owned cooperative. They offer mobile bike repair, as well as pedal-powered delivery for wholesale distribution, business delivery, and direct-to-consumer delivery, for example for restaurants. CycleWorks are open for business, and they are also raising funds through Kiva micro loans.
Disclosure: Several worker-owners of CycleWorks are current or former Madison Bikes board members.
Olbrich Park survey still open
We have previously covered the Atwood Avenue reconstruction and the different options for the path alignment through Olbrich Park. The Transportation Commission recommended option 1 (with option 3 as an alternative) at their March 23 meeting, but it’s the Board of Parks Commissioners who make the final decision at their April 13 meeting. The survey about the different options continues to be open and you can still vote: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/olbrich
MPO regional transportation plan
The Greater Madison Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) is hosting a final set of public meetings about their Regional Transportation Plan 2050. The MPO is a crucial player in shaping the transportation system of our metro area, as large amounts of federal transportation funding go through the MPO. The online meetings take place on April 7 at 5:30 and April 12 at noon. You can sign up here: https://greatermadisonmpo.konveio.com/upcoming-meetings More information about the plan and an interactive map where you can provide feedback is available here.
Well, nothing much happened last year and cars continue to drive through the park. The updated timeline was: “first thing next spring.” Now we have learned that the project will be completed in mid-June at the earliest. The delays apparently are related to staffing and supply challenges, and the Parks Department not offering an earlier date to the pavement contractor because of “events/activities” at the park shelter. So keep watching out for cars when you walk or roll through Vilas Park.
A new trail in Verona
On a bike ride today I noticed new multi-use path in Verona. It runs from County Highway M along Badger Mill Creek to Arbor Vitae Dr. (the connection with Arbor Vitae wasn’t quite done yet). The path doesn’t provide a whole lot of new connectivity for people who don’t live nearby, but it definitely seemed busy with people walking, biking, and mono-wheeling today. Here’s some video footage:
On Monday from 6:00-7:30 PM, Madison Bikes is hosting a virtual community meeting to discuss gaps in Madison’s low-stress bike network and how to fix them. Fixing these gaps is an essential step towards making Madison a place where anyone living in any area of the city can safely get around without a vehicle. After a deadly year for Madison’s pedestrians and bicyclists, momentum is building at the city level to close these gaps. Community participation is essential to keeping that momentum going. Zoom link here, Facebook event page here.
Transportation Commission updates:
TC recommended Option 1 for Atwood Ave. reconstruction around Olbrich park, with Option 3 as the preferred alternative! This is great news, as these two options are the safest for bike riders of all ages and abilities – kudos to everyone who responded to our messages to vote! Parks will announce their final decision soon. For now, the survey is still open if you haven’t yet voted.
Madison BCycle presented expansion plans, including utilizing federal Transportation Alternatives funding to reach underserved areas of the city. A large expansion of their e-bike share stations is planned for this year.
Buffered bike lanes were approved on Tokay Blvd. between Whitney Way and Segoe Rd.
Ride the Drive cancelled for 2022. We are sad to hear that parks superintendent Eric Knapp notified the city last week that Ride the Drive is being cancelled for 2022, as Parks prioritizes other city projects due to staffing shortages. Blog post here. We will keep you updated with other kickoff event plans for Bike Week!
Bike jobs! DreamBikes is hiring a bicycle technician. DreamBikes is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization that works with local youth organizations to provide hands-on paid job training in the bike industry to Madison-area teens. Job posting here.